Saturday, 30 November 2013

Good Measure

Ever chatted with your pals about items of clobber and muted things like 'it would be better if' or 'I'd like it more if' etc and then done bugger all about it? Well some brave lads who thought like that have put their money where their mouth is, and jumped feet first into the world of limited run, high quality threads. These brave lads are Good Measure.

There first run is focussed on a classic sweatshirt, one that looks the part and fits correctly. Just for good measure they have a focus on producing their work right here in Britain.

Worth a look. Personally I'm not a sweater kind of guy, but I'll be keeping tabs on their efforts, seeing what they produce next. This bunch of connoisseurs could well become the next Connoisseurs...

Monday, 11 November 2013

Debut Albam

Nottingham has had its fair share of good clobber. One True Saxon was the richest plum of all, and, when OTS lost its way in the mid naughties, in 2006 Albam stepped in to take the 'Notts Finest' crown.

The cult brand is now based in swanky Soho but still sticking to its ideals of simple concepts, created using the finest resources, and then well made right here in England. And then we snap their gear up.

One of the their most iconic pieces ever produced is what became arguably their signature design - the Fisherman's Cagoule. A simple waxed jacket with oversized hood and large white buttons, available in an a range of striking colours.
My debut Albam is a classy and cool navy blue. Remember the forums were all a buzz a few years ago when these came out in epileptic Apple Green and Dayglo Orange. But I wouldn't be able to pull them off. Bit of a shame it's taken me so long to source one but definitely worth it. It's amazing how excited you can get over a made in England label and a daft wee poachers pocket on the back. Quality jacketry.

Delighted with this pick up. Looks smashing, especially with another new navy purchase - The Connoisseur Everyday Beanie. Simple and effective winter warmer. Not released yet though chaps. But join the queue because I'd recommend highly for £18 nicker.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Brandon United v Hartlepool (Durham Cup)

The clocks have gone back and winter is drawing in. So it's time for the non league clubs still left in the cup to start dreaming of drawing a big fish. I'm not talking about the magic of the FA Cup but the pure majesty of the Durham County Challenge Cup.

Brandon United successfully negotiated the preliminary round and drew Pools, arguably the biggest fish in the pond - even if it is just the reserves. Once upon a time Sunderland plyed their trade in the cup and Pools and Darlo were allowed to field strong teams, leading to memorable cup ties. However the black cats are no longer and Hartlepool have to play the kids. It did pay dividends back in 2005 when United won the competition, the fifth time in the club's history.

The Welfare Ground is a ramshackle ground with a gap in the fence providing the turnstile. I was surprised it was a pretty steep fiver to get in but delighted they'd bothered to produce a programme for the fixture. I climbed the steps to pitch level and was immediately nearly blown back down by gale force winds. The view was impressive though, even in the dark. Most of County Durham spread out below like a carpet - the cathedral and city in the valley, Penshaw Monument on the hill and my home village of Ushaw Moor twinkling invitingly.

The last time I saw Pools play in the DCCC I witnessed a 5-1 humiliation at the hands of Shildon. Despite Brandon being in the division below the railwaymen and having on average four bankruptcy fears a season, I still feared the worse. This sinking feeling was justified when Brandon took the lead two mins in after a defensive howler. One of those real "what am I doing here?" moments, seeing your team concede to a team some eight leagues further down the pyramid.

As the wind picked up and the rain drove in I consoled myself with a cup of tea. In an actual mug. Civilised. As the brew lifted my spirits Pools started playing and looked the better team with strength at the back and centre and pace on the wings. Before I knew it they were 4-1 up through Hawkins, Wignall, Boagey and Armstrong. Half an hour played and my tea not even cold. Brandon got one back on the stroke of half time, another lapse in defense. In the second Nialle Rodney scored what could only be described as a 5 mile an hour net buster' as the ball trickled in and managed to go through the net. 5-2 FT.

On getting home found Darlington had won their tie and was very much looking forward to receiving them in the next tie. However the following day when the balls were drawn they got Gateshead and we got Consett...